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Former Bruins prospect Joe Colborne eager to prove B’s wrong 11.29.11 at 7:37 pm ET
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Joe Colborne has points in three straight games. (AP)

Every time the Bruins play the Maple Leafs, there will always be talk of the forwards the teams have swapped, but beginning Wednesday, that conversation will be about more than just Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin.

Center Joe Colborne, the Bruins’ first-round pick (16th overall) in 2008 draft and the centerpiece of the package the B’s sent to Leafs in February for Tomas Kaberle, has played the last five games in the NHL and is already producing.

The 21-year-old Colborne has been skating on the third line for the Leafs, and has registered four points (1 G, 3 A) in his five NHL games this season. Now that he’s facing the B’s, he’s got plenty of motivation to prove them wrong.

“Anybody, who says they don’t want to do well against your old team would be lying,” Colborne told the Toronto Star Tuesday. “I hope I can show what I can and contribute to the Leafs.”

Colborne was in his first AHL season when he was shipped to Toronto, but said that he was in the organization long enough to know what the Bruins were all about.

“I understand the hard work they went through to win the Stanley Cup — after getting rid of me,” he jokingly told reporters. “It’s going to be interesting. I’m looking forward to it.”

While playing for Providence, Colborne had 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 goals in 55 games. The 6-foot-5, 213-pound forward added eight points and eight assists for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL last season following the trade. Count Claude Julien among those happy to see him in the NHL and playing well.

“I think it would have been a matter of time, probably with us as well,” Julien said Tuesday of Colborne playing in the NHL. I liked him. I liked his skill level. Obviously his size, [he's] a big strong centerman and stuff like that.

“I don’t think anybody wishes him not to do well. I’m one of those guys that really liked him personally. He’s a great individual, and to see him get an opportunity to play in the NHL is always nice. Unfortunately you can’t always be with the same team, but at least the guys that deserve it get to play in the NHL. He’s certainly one of those players that I think deserves it.”

While the Kessel trade will never be in question from Boston’s end because it landed the B’s Seguin, Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight, the Kaberle trade is somewhat of a different case. In addition to Colborne, the B’s sent their 2011 first-round pick and a 2012 second-rounder to Toronto in exchange for the defenseman, who had a generally dreadful stay in Boston. Still, it all ended with him hoisting the Stanley Cup, so it’s hard to criticize the trade, regardless of the fact that the Maple Leafs will likely have gotten the better players, and for far more service time (Kaberle was not re-signed following his four-month stint with the Bruins).

The B’s are happy to see Colborne doing well, but now that they’ll be seeing a lot of him for a long time, that may soon change.

Read More: Joe Colborne, Tomas Kaberle,
As Bruins power play struggles, Tomas Kaberle still trying to ‘prove why I’m here’ 04.24.11 at 1:20 pm ET
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Tomas Kaberle was supposed to be the answer for Boston’s power play. So far, there’s just been more questions in what has been an ugly tryout for a new contract.

Tomas Kaberle's Bruins tenure has not been a pretty one. (AP)

Seemingly destined to don the black and gold eventually, the Bruins finally acquired the heavily sought-after free agent-to-be 10 days prior to the trade deadline. Since then, the Bruins’ power play has been almost unfathomably unproductive. With just seven goals in 80 opportunities, the unit has been clicking just eight percent of the time. Even general manager Peter Chiarelli said recently that the team expected more out of the defenseman when they sent a first-round pick and highly touted prospect Joe Colborne to Toronto in exchange for the veteran defenseman. Chiarelli isn’t the only one hoping Kaberle can pick it up.

“I always put a lot of pressure on myself,” Kaberle said Sunday at TD Garden. “Hopefully I can prove why I’m here. I would like to help with every little thing I can do on the ice. Obviously, I am one of the guys on the PP, and it would be nice to be something going there.”

Kaberle had nine points for the Bruins in his 24 regular season contests since being acquired, but as the spotlight grew brighter with the arrival of the playoffs, the 33-year-old had an ugly showing. He reversed a puck too hard in the Bruins’ zone, making for an easy Scott Gomez pass to Brian Gionta to set up what would be the game-winning goal.

From there, things didn’t improve as much as they needed to. Kaberle had major struggles in Game 2, displaying an inability to keep the puck in the zone on routine plays, a suggestion that perhaps he may have been pressing. If a turnaround is to be made, perhaps the defenseman can build on the fact that things have at least been looking up statistically. He’s had an assist in each of the last two games, and with how bad things were in Games 1 and 2, it’s a starting point.

“I felt like the first couple of games I could have been better,” Kaberle admitted Sunday. “The last few games, I’ve felt a lot better, and I’m feeling better confidence-wise. I’ll take it from there.”

Right now, any signs of confidence from Kaberle should be a good thing, as his play — despite making the as-advertised passes — has not been a major game-changer for the B’s in the postseason. He still isn’t producing on the man advantage, and his now-infamous fakes on the power play aren’t fooling anybody. Fairly or unfairly, Chiarelli’s move to get Kaberle will be seen as a major steal by the Leafs unless the power play starts getting the results that have eluded them for too long. There’s no better way to do that than to get the power play going, but teammates won’t let all the responsibility fall on Kaberle.

“I’m sure he feels pressure just like all of us,” Dennis Seidenberg said Sunday. “It’s not just him that wants to do better. I think it’s everybody that wants to create and wants to get that advantage you’re supposed to get. Right now it’s just not working, and I’m sure he thinks as much as everybody else about it — what he can do, and what we should do improve it. I guess it’s a work in progress.”

A first-round pick and a former first-round center with as high a ceiling as Colborne’s is not something a team wants to give up for a player that can help the power play be a “work in progress.” That type of package is reserved for a star player, and that’s clearly what the Bruins thought they were getting. There’s still time for Kaberle to justify the move and prove that the trade for a puck-moving defenseman was more than an asset-moving blunder, but for now the waiting game continues.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Dennis Seidenberg, Joe Colborne, Peter Chiarelli
Bruins make Kaberle trade official 02.18.11 at 11:28 am ET
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[UPDATE: 2:52 p.m.]The Bruins announced Friday afternoon that they have traded Joe Colborne, their own 2011 first-round pick, and a conditional pick to the Maple Leafs in exchange for four-time All-Star defenseman Tomas Kaberle. The conditional pick will be a 2012 second-round choice if the B’s either re-sign Kaberle or make it to the Stanley Cup finals.

Kaberle, 32, is in the final year of his contract and has a no-trade clause that would require waiving for a deal to get done. In 58 games this season, he has three goals and 35 assists for 38 points. He will be available to the Bruins Friday night against the Senators, wearing No. 12.

Drafted with the 16th overall pick in the 2008 draft, Colborne has 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points in 55 games this season for the Providence Bruins.

Read More: Joe Colborne, Tomas Kaberle,
At least Joe Colborne doesn’t have to wear a neck guard 09.19.10 at 11:35 pm ET
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Bruins 2008 first-round pick Joe Colborne has a lot of things that should eventually make him a key contributor in the NHL. This summer, his leadership was displayed during rookie development, and last week Peter Chiarelli singled him out as someone whose skating has improved in the offseason. Looking at him, his 6-foot-5 frame makes size his biggest possession, but Colborne also has something that nobody else on the ice at training camp has: a cage.

neckguardColborne got his nose and lip cut up pretty badly last week after taking an elbow to the face in the first of the Bruins’ two rookie games against the Islanders. He had stitches on the inside and outside of nose, as well as the inside of his lip and underwent neurology tests to determine whether he may have suffered a concussion. Everything checked out regarding the latter, but as a result of the facial injuries, he’s been forced to rock a full cage at practice. While wearing the mask doesn’t affect a player’s abilities in any way — he’s gone at 100 percent in practice and will play in Monday’s scrimmage — the quirks of adding a cage have been noticed by the young center.

“Thank goodness I went to college and had to do two years with the cage,” Colborne said Sunday. “It took a little bit of getting used to [Saturday] but today today it felt better.”

The cage isn’t too uncommon for players to wear over short stretches when playing with injuries to the face. The likes of Joe Thornton and Zdeno Chara have sported it in the past for Boston, but it is certainly a nuisance to to those forced to wear them. That’s where the conversation took a turn to youth hockey, when full cages were the norm, and depending on which youth hockey organization one was in, players were instead bugged by the vaunted neck guard.

“Oh yeah. All the way up,” Colborne said when asked if he was forced to wear one while playing as a youngster. “They were pretty pointless to me. We all just taped them up and made them as small as possible so they’re more comfortable.”

Straightening his neck out and moving it side to side, almost robotically, he added, “you walk around like this and you can’t move your neck at all in them.”

The neck guard and the cage both fall into the category of annoying pieces of equipment. Colborne certainly doesn’t miss the neck guard, known more among young players for itchy tags and restricting qualities than any protective benefits, but can find solace in the fact that it’s been a while since he’s had to wear one and, more importantly, that they’re out of his life completely. The same can’t be said for the temporary adjustment back to a cage as he tries to impress the Bruins brass and coaching staff.

“I had to get used to it for college, but then all summer I was back to the half-visor, and in rookie camp I was half-visor. It’s just cooler, it’s easier to breathe, it doesn’t restrict your vision when you’re trying to look out and use your peripheral vision and look down and see the puck,” Colborne. “When you’ve got those bars in the way, it gets in the way.”

Though it could be days before the stitches on Colborne’s nose are gone, he’s been able to feel the ones in his lip dissolving during the practice sessions and even saw some fall on the ice on Sunday.

Colborne said Sunday was the first day he could breathe out of his nose. His right nostril is still giving some issues when it comes to breathing, but thanks to relentless icing his face — which was very swollen a day after the hit — hasn’t been as big a problem as he prepares to ditch the cage within the next couple of days.

“It’s come down a ton. I’ve been icing it non-stop. Literally I’ve just been going home and plopping ice on it all day long,” Colborne said. “The extra time I’ve been putting in has helped out. It already just feels more natural.”

Colborne picked up 72 points over his two-year career at the University of Denver. He finished last season with six games in Providence, his first taste of the AHL.

Read More: Joe Colborne, Training camp,
Colborne’s nose not broken 09.16.10 at 8:45 pm ET
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BOSTON — While his teammates took to the ice against the Islanders on Thursday night, Joe Colborne took a view minutes to talk with media members on hand at the Bruins’ second rookie game, a contest he would have played in were it not for him getting cut up pretty badly in Wednesday’s game.

Colborne sported stitches both in and on his nose and the area around his mouth looked pretty swollen as he spoke, but he indicated that he did not have a broken nose, which what was initially assumed by the Bruins following the first rookie game. He had a CT scan performed and underwent a test to gauge whether he may have suffered a concussion, but said that nothing worrisome came from any of the tests.

It was a little over halfway through the third period when Colborne caught either a Justin DiBenedetto elbow or a Bruins stick to the nose in a well-crowded play, leaving a pool of blood by the Islanders’ blue line and an additional winding trail as he woozily skated off the ice.

Though he admitted to feeling a bit out of it following the play, the prognosis certainly wasn’t anywhere near as bad as it could have been, especially considering how heavily Colborne was bleeding following the play. Fans held their breath as Colborne eventually left the ice, the trickling blood unrelenting, and when he watched it himself, he could see why.

“I just saw the hit for the first time,” Colborne said. “After seeing that and how I got up, having no damage or anything, I feel pretty fortunate.”

“It’s hockey, it’s a rough game, and it will happen,” he added. “I wish wish I was out there right now, but hopefully I’ll meet up with that guy sooner or later.”

Colborne said that both of his parents were in attendance for the game. He didn’t want his mother to worry too much after seeing that play, and given that Colborne recently had a friend lose his legs in a car accident, the injury was put in perspective for the entire family.

“She wasn’t too happy, obviously, but it’s not the first time I’ve been cut,” Colborne said. “Worse things could have happened, I told her. It could have been a knee or a shoulder, or something like that.”

Though the stitches and swelling won’t win him a beauty contest, Colborne and the Bruins are right to appreciate that no damage was done either to cartilage or neurologically. The Bruins’ first-round choice in the 2008 draft, Colborne said he will wear a cage when he does return to the ice, which he figures will be Saturday.

With Colborne sitting out for the 2-1 overtime victory, he missed an opportunity to play under Providence coach Rob Murray for an eighth time. In addition to Wednesday’s contest, Colborne played six games for the AHL club. If he has anything to say about it, he will keep that number at seven by earning a big league spot. Either way, all parties involved are lucky that Colborne will be healthy enough to try to prove himself from the getgo.

Read More: Joe Colborne, Training camp,
Second line sees shakeup with Colborne out at 6:44 pm ET
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garden5BOSTON — Michael Hutchinson‘s presence between the pipes Thursday night won’t be the only difference in the Bruins’ lineup when their rookies take on the Islanders youngsters in their second and final rookie game. Tyler Seguin‘s line with Jared Knight and Jamie Arniel remains in tact, but with Joe Colborne out with a possible broken nose, the second line is now centered by Craig Cunningham with Lane MacDermid and Jordan Caron once again on the wings. The third line consists of Ryan Spooner between Max Sauve and Tyler Randell, with the final line being comprised of Joe Plekaitis in the middle of Walker Wintoneak and Yannick Riendeau.

The defensive pairings were the same in warmups as last night. Ryan Donald is out there with Yury Alexandrov, Steve Kampfer is paired with Matt Delahey, and Ryan Button will skate with Matt Bartkowski.

A night after Mikko Koskinen got the start in net for the Islanders, 2008 fifth-round pick Kevin Poulin is manning the pipes.

Read More: Joe Colborne, Training camp, Tyler Seguin,
Colborne has broken nose, chipped tooth 09.15.10 at 10:09 pm ET
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BOSTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said after the team’s 5-2 win over Islanders rookies that Joe Colborne had a broken nose and a chipped tooth that it “doesn’t look like” the center suffered a concussion, adding that the team’s first-round choice in 2008 got stitches in two places on his face.

Chiarelli described Colborne as being lucid after taking what was believed to be a Bruins stick to the face more than halfway through the third period. He left the ice bleeding heavily following a play in which Islanders forward Justin DiBenedetto received a five-minute major and game misconduct.

Asked what the play means for Colborne’s prospects of playing in Thursday’s game, Chiarelli didn’t equivocate, saying “my guess is, yeah, he won’t be playing tomorrow.”

Read More: Joe Colborne, Training camp,
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